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Indiana coronavirus updates for Friday, May 21, 2021

The latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic from Friday, May 21, 2021.

INDIANAPOLIS — Here are Friday's latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic, including the latest news on COVID-19 vaccinations and testing in Indiana. Registrations for the vaccine are now open for Hoosiers 12 and older through the Indiana State Department of Health. This story will be updated over the course of the day with more news on the COVID-19 pandemic.

RELATED: Here's everything we know about the COVID-19 vaccine

Colts hosting another vaccine clinic today at Lucas Oil Stadium

The Indianapolis Colts are partnering with Meijer to host another COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Those who received their first shot of the Moderna vaccine at the clinic on April 23 and 24 are eligible to receive the second dose today. Meijer will send an automated reminder to patients to check their vaccination card for their second appointment time.

Walk-up appointments for the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. as well.

Parking is free in the South Lot, via Capitol Avenue.

For more information, visit Colts.com/vaccine or email clinic@meijer.com.

State reports 21K new people fully vaccinated, 22 additional deaths

The Indiana State Department of Health reported 21,835 additional people have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 as of Friday morning.

As of today, a total of 4,965,905 COVID-19 vaccine shots have been administered in Indiana. This includes 2,572,225 first doses and 2,393,680 individuals who are fully vaccinated. The fully vaccinated number represents individuals who have received a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines and another 176,078 people who received the single Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

ISDH also reported 22 additional deaths due to COVID-19 on Thursday. Those deaths occurred between March 27 and Thursday. As of Friday, 13,130 Hoosiers are confirmed to have died from the virus, with another 417 probable deaths reported in patients who died with COVID-19 symptoms but had no positive test on record. 

The state also reported 801 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 from tests done at state and private labs. A total of 738,961 Indiana residents are now known to have contracted the virus.

Indiana University to require all students and staff to have COVID-19 vaccine by fall semester

Indiana University will require all students, faculty and staff to have COVID-19 vaccine by fall semester. The university had been considering the requirement for months.

All students, faculty and staff will have to have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine by July 1 in order to meet the university's requirement. They will need to be fully vaccinated with at least two weeks after a second dose by Aug. 15 in order to return to campus.

There will be an exemption request process will available by June 15. However, exemptions will be strictly limited to a very narrow set of criteria, including medical exemptions, and documented and significant religious exemptions.

Students, faculty and staff will need to provide their vaccination information by completing a secure form with the dates of their vaccine doses along with a photo or scan of their vaccine documentation, such as a CDC card. Those who have already submitted their vaccine status to the university will not need to resubmit it.

Students who do not receive an exemption and and aren't vaccinated could see their class registration canceled, CrimsonCard access terminated and access to IU systems such as Canvas and email terminated, and they will not be allowed to participate in any on-campus activity.

Faculty and staff who choose not to meet the requirement will no longer be able to be employed by Indiana University. Working remotely and not meeting the COVID-19 vaccine requirement is not an option.

These requirements are for all Indiana University campuses.

Mobile vaccination clinics this week

Mobile vaccination clinics will be held this week on the following schedule (all times 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.):

Friday

  • Howard County
    Second Missionary Baptist Church
    819 N. Apperson Way Kokomo, IN 46901

Saturday

  • Howard County
    Second Missionary Baptist Church
    819 N. Apperson Way Kokomo, IN 46901

To find testing sites around the state, visit www.coronavirus.in.gov and click on the COVID-19 testing information link.

Indiana Catholics to return to Mass June 11

Indiana's five Catholic bishops announced Friday that they are lifting the church's pandemic dispensation from attending Mass, effective June 11.  

Since March 2020, the bishops granted Indiana Catholics a dispensation from their obligation to attend Mass every Sunday and on church holy days due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The dispensation applied to parishioners of the five Catholic dioceses in the state - Evansville, Fort Wayne-South Bend, Gary, Indianapolis and Lafayette.

The bishops cited vaccine availability and public health guidance in lifting the dispensation.

Parishioners who are sick or at risk of contracting the virus, along with their caregivers, are still not obligated to attend Mass.

Dr. Fauci: Booster COVID vaccines may depend on variants

Dr. Anthony Fauci says vaccinated Americans would “not necessarily” need to get booster shots this fall for further protection from COVID-19.

Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, told CBS “This Morning” on Friday that scientists would be tracking data on the virus and possible variants. He says it was still “possible” an additional shot would be needed later this year to ward off possible infection.

Fauci also urged Americans to continue to follow CDC guidelines. He stressed those who haven't been fully vaccinated still need to wear masks even if they are largely spending time with people who have been inoculated. 

Fauci says children who are not vaccinated — including children under 12 who won’t be eligible for vaccines for months — should continue to wear masks indoors. But he says that recommendation could change as the CDC conducts more research and more Americans get shots.

Vaccines offered at Monday cookout

Hendricks Regional Health and community organizations Aspire House and the Near Northwest are hosting a free cookout and COVID-19 vaccine clinic Monday afternoon in Indianapolis.

Everyone is welcome to enjoy a free meal with free vaccines available for people ages 12 and up. Children need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. 

Appointments are not necessary.  

The clinic and cookout will take place Monday, May 24, from 12 noon until 6 p.m. at Aspire House, 1002 Udell Street in Indianapolis.

Colts hosting another vaccine clinic at Lucas Oil Stadium

The Indianapolis Colts are partnering with Meijer to host another COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Those who received their first shot of the Moderna vaccine at the clinic on April 23 and 24 will be eligible to receive the second dose Friday, May 21 or Saturday, May 22. Meijer will send an automated reminder to patients to check their vaccination card for their second appointment time.

Walk-up appointments for the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days as well.

Parking is free in the South Lot, via Capitol Avenue.

For more information, visit Colts.com/vaccine or email clinic@meijer.com.

Travel restrictions extended at U.S. borders

The Department of Homeland Security announced Thursday morning that the United States will continue restrictions on non-essential travel to and from Canada and Mexico at the land borders through June 21.

The decision is due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they say. 

Essential trade and travel will continue, and officials say that they are working closely with Canada and Mexico to safely ease restrictions as conditions improve.

Nervous workers struggle to adjust to new mask policies

An abrupt relaxation of mask policies at some retail and grocery stores has left workers reeling as they try to sort out what the new environment means for their own safety and relationship with customers. 

Walmart, Best Buy, Macy’s, Costco, Home Depot, Trader Joe’s and Target were among the growing list of big chains that are allowing vaccinated customers to shop mask-less, following updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control. 

Many, including Walmart and Target, are also allowing vaccinated workers to drop their masks. Some workers took to social media to cheer, but many others protested. Some don’t trust customers to be truthful about their vaccination status.

Big gaps in vaccine rates across the US worry health experts

A distinct geographic pattern has emerged in the U.S. drive to vanquish the coronavirus: The highest vaccination rates are concentrated in the Northeast, while the lowest ones are mostly in the South. 

Experts say the gap reflects a multitude of factors, including political leanings, religious beliefs, and education and income levels. 

Close to 160 million Americans -- 48% of the population -- have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 125 million are fully vaccinated against the virus.  Vermont is No. 1, with nearly 64% of its population receiving at least one dose. Mississippi is dead last at 32%.

Latest US, world numbers

There have been more than 33 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 4:30 a.m. ET Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 588,500 deaths in the U.S.

Worldwide, there have been more than 165.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 3.4 million deaths. More than 1.5 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide.

RELATED: See where confirmed Indiana coronavirus cases are with this interactive map

The actual number of people infected by the virus around the world is believed to be much higher — perhaps 10 times higher in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — given testing limitations and the many mild cases that have gone unreported or unrecognized.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness like pneumonia, or death.